Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Review: Transmetropolitan, Vol 2

book cover for volume 2 of TransmetropolitanAt this point in the series, Spider Jerusalem is fully settled in the city he hates, cranking out a column of acerbic wit and caustic insight each week. There are three standalone stories in this volume along with a three-part tale.

Building on the volume 1 tale of humans rewriting their DNA to make themselves alien, all of the stories explore some of the different pathways of the human condition in the 23rd century. In "Boyfriend Is a Virus," we learn that you can upload your consciousness into a computer whereupon it will then be downloaded into a nanobot dust cloud. "Another Cold Morning" reveals what happens to those cryogenically frozen heads from the 20th and 21st centuries. "Wild in the Country" reveals that there are "reservations" where one can live any lifestyle from history, a memory wipe removing any trace of your past modern life. Even in the "Freeze Me With Your Kiss" story arc, we encounter a group of people who wear hazmat suits 24/7, the Total Solitude Culture.

But "Freeze Me With Your Kiss" has more of a story to it. Spider's ex-wife's head, which is in a jar full of cryonic fluid, has been stolen, and he's being hunted down by groups wanting revenge for past wrongs. I suspect that this is an occupational hazard of his that we'll see more of in the future.

"Another Cold Morning" was my favorite of the bunch. It's the subject of one of Spider's columns and gets at his sense of injustice, revealing how lousy people are. Spider's compassion is on display, in his unique way, in "Boyfriend Is a Virus" as he tries to help Channon, his assistant, deal with her boyfriend's selfish life choice.

Robertson's artwork is excellent, perfectly capturing the helter skelter insanity of normal urban life in the 23rd century.


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